At the imaginary line between Upper Houghton and Yeoville is Maxwell’s Spaza Shop. There are no clear demarcation of this boundary between these two areas – only the visible signs of the cleaned, treelined streets with huge Mansions and well manicured lawns. As you make the transition into Yeoville, the houses are mostly in disrepair and unkept with shops such as Maxwell’s in front where once a carport or garden.
Maxwell is from Nigeria, and recently moved into the neighbourhood. As I stood chatting with him while he prepared his food to later sell in the evening. The tiled floor dirty, and the large enamel bowl filled with chicken pieces to place on a skewer despite the warm temperature and the absence of hygiene to using gloves, proper counters – Maxwell uses what he has to earn a living.
Loving your neighbour as you love yourself is not the creed in Upper Houghton as much of the locals wishing to segregate themselves from Yeoville. Ignorant and oblivious to the fact that slowly Yeoville is taking over – as property after property is being exchanged to wealthy Nigerians. There are talks of closing the road so that these neighbours don’t contaminate their posh neighbourhoods.
Astonishingly this demarcation is also shared politically of that being ANC and DA. The matter of love and goodwill to ones neighbours are bankrupt in this neighbourhood, for status and wealth are the keys to acceptance.